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Gateway DrugsNow that we have a better feel for the widespread problem with drug abuse as well as the effects of the problem and how it absolutely must factor into an overall personal safety plan, lets look at some of the things that can be critical to watch for in those closest to you.
Do you know what the "Gateway" Drug Theory is?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The gateway drug theory (also called gateway theory, gateway hypothesis and gateway effect) states that the use of less deleterious drugs can lead to a future risk of using more dangerous hard drugs or crime. It is often attributed to the earlier use of one of several licit substances, including tobacco or alcohol, as well as cannabis.
So this theory basically posits that early tobacco or alcohol use can lead to the risk of the use of more dangerous, hard drugs.
Based on my experience as a Law Enforcement Officer, I absolutely subscribe to this theory as I have seen this progression in many young people, numerous times. Young people who use substances that are illegal, based on age, are at far greater risk to progress to more dangerous substances! Sometimes sooner rather than later!
Its funny that when Police Officers arrest young people for tobacco use or possession, many people see these as "cheap" arrests. We hear things like "Many people do these things while underage, right?", "Isn’t it normal?", "I did it and Im not addicted to heroin or cocaine". This is all true! So should we ignore it when underage people consume tobacco or alcohol?
These are very important issues to deal with! Maybe the most important issue to deal with if we are going to have any chance of ridding society of this huge drug abuse problem. And I think that society is different than it was in past generations. Acceptance and abuse is far more widespread. Sometimes I feel like it’s the few who are lucky enough to not be addicted to dangerous drugs! I know that this is not the case but it sure does seem this way.
Do you know how many parents are OK with their underage kids smoking? It’s staggering! For whatever the reason, alcohol use is different. Few parents are accepting of alcohol use by their underage kids. I guess maybe a "smokaholic" is acceptable when compared to an alcoholic. Maybe its because smoking is not mind altering? Maybe its because you can smoke and not worry about crashing your car as a result of the effects? Heck, I guess Id be far more accepting of my kids smoking as opposed to drinking.
Anyway, kids going out to a party with their friends and consuming alcohol during those limited times is one thing. Smoking or drinking on a daily basis is a completely different issue. Its the difference between casual use and addiction.
The other thing is this:
If young kids are doing these things at an early age, and on a regular (habitual) basis, it shows potential problems in a few areas:
These are all things that must be kept "in check" as any one of them can all lead to some serious problems for these kids. You must know what your kids are doing at all times and never accept any use of what might be considered a Gateway Drug! If you find your kids have used or are using tobacco, alcohol or marijuana please do what you have to do to stop it immediately.
Published Jan 28, 2014
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